Pragmatism and Principles: Tools for Effective Change
Change Management is something every organisation struggles with. Now more than ever, building change capacity and capability is critical to our success. This presentation provides some practical techniques to help you implement lasting change.
Delivered to the itSMFnz 2015 National Conference - 12 May.
Pragmatism and Principles: Tools for Effective Change
Pragmatism & Principles
Tools for Effective Change
What am I covering today?
• Why is change management important?
• What are we doing wrong?
• What are some proven methods to get better results?
• Principle based innovation
• Pragmatic steps for action
• Progressing despite setbacks
What does Change Management mean to you?
• Restructures, job losses, redundancies
• Hopelessness, resignation or despair?
• Cynicism (obviously)
• Change Management spells DANGER
What should change management be?
• Helping people to understand why changes are needed, and how we
will improve services
• Helping them to understand where they fit into the big picture
• Helping them to get used to new ways of working
• Listening to their ideas, working with them towards agreed goals
Why is this important?
Change is the only constant.
Heraclitus, Greek philosopher
• Change isn’t just continuous, it is exponential
• Technology driven change is profound
• Radically changing industries, markets, customer behaviours
• Huge challenges and opportunities
We must build change capacity and capability
• Changing the comfortable routines of daily work
• Changing expectations or standards for work
• Changing how your performance is measured
• Creating transparency or oversight where there was none
• Changing the way you do your work
• Changing the tools you use
• Changing where you work
• Changing who you report to (power/politics/relationships)
• Changing the internal culture
• Changing habits
Changing technical staff
• IT staff find change particularly challenging
• Experience a high rate of change
• Threatens roles, threatens expertise
• Threatens “support ego”
• Behaviours: fortress-building, corner-pissing, complexity millstones,
Indispensable, high-risk, specialised expertise
Principles: Internal culture
• Shared assumptions
• War stories
The patterns of shared values and beliefs that produce
norms of behaviour.
• The frameworks/models are fine, they’ll get you there
• But they miss the point somewhat
• They are misinterpreted by many
• Can’t be blindly applied – just like ITIL
• They aren’t just a series of steps
• (analogy: the stages of grief, Kubler-Ross)
• Must be tailored to the context of your organisation
Will frameworks create lasting change?
Principles: Starting the ball rolling
• What reason do we have to change?
• What is wrong? – “if it ain’t broke”
• What are we trying to achieve and why?
• Use interactive training/simulations to demonstrate the “why”
Setting expectations – what would YOU expect from a service?
• Is that what we’re delivering?
(Dis) Satisfaction surveys
• Direct input from customers:
• What matters to our customers?
• How are we performing in those areas?
• Timeliness, accessibility, professionalism, knowledgeability, courtesy,
empathy and understanding, reliability
• Open questions for honest responses
• No defensive reactions
Perception = Reality
Pain: Where is your pain?
• What problems can we agree on?
• Where do the complaints come from?
• Where are our client’s frustrations?
• Front line staff often have considerable insight
• What is soaking up all our time?
• What should be soaking up all our time?
Progress: Low hanging fruit
• Resolve pain points
• Implement small pilots
• Measure results and share to prove success
• Deliver “quick wins”
• Demonstrate real benefits
• Make a difference to staff and clients
• Build momentum
Principles: Service Charter
• Articulate customer expectations of service quality
• Encourage appropriate behaviours
• Agreed improvement goals/aspirations
• Expectations of customer interactions
• Language – clients/customers not “users”
• “Users” have track marks
• “Only professionals like doctors and lawyers use the word client!”
Principles: Senior ownership
- not just support
• Senior staff as champions
• Integrate into regular communications
• Address conflict and issues
• Champion service charter
• Take ownership - walk the talk
• Build executive understanding in person to increase buy-in
Principles: Grass roots change
• Who are the fans?
• Who are the internal leaders and influencers?
• Include in discussion and planning
• Harness, cultivate and support their enthusiasm
• Ensure they are fully informed
• Contact points within their peer groups
• Enlist passionate practitioners to train and communicate
Shape opinions from within
Principles: REAL engagement
• Not just “consultation” – listening to staff properly
• Strengths and weaknesses, issues and risks
• Allows them to own and take responsibility for the change
• Adjusting plans in response
• Changing direction where required
• Including great ideas for improvement
• Remember - strong opinions are often good indicators
• Turn them to your advantage, get resistors onboard early
Communication = Participation
Pragmatism: Continual improvement
• Feedback, ideas box
• Clear contact points for questions
• Forum for discussion
• In person
• Positive and negative important
• Give credit for improvements
• Improving understanding and maturity leads to greater engagement
Make sure you act on feedback
Progress: Big rocks (often little pebbles)
• Prioritise visible changes
• Make a direct improvement to clients
• Beneficial to front line staff (WIIFM)
• Don’t plan your project only to realise the iceberg has melted part
way through - be agile
• Identify opportunities and include them
• Set that expectation with your project stakeholders
Pragmatism: Incremental improvements
• Guided by principles of service management
• Accumulating incremental changes
• Build momentum
• Change habits
• Create lasting change
• Small changes add up very quickly
Pragmatism: “The smell of an oily rag”
• Keep it simple
• Streamline processes
• Focus on changes that improve service directly
• Invest in the essential elements of improvement
• Involve as many staff as possible
• Spread the load
• Embed changes into daily activity
Progress + Momentum = Enthusiasm
• The Progress Principle - Teresa Amabile & Steven Kramer
• Staff are motivated by seeing improvements
• Forward momentum
• Meaningful progress
• Target to remove
• Obstacles and roadblocks
• Meaningless tasks
Pain: Set-backs (Sisyphus)
• Not every strategy will work for you
• Setbacks are inevitable, and should be accepted as “part of it”
• Recognise the challenges and set expectations
Pain: “Disaster” management
• Failure is a compelling driver for change
• Enhanced visibility of problems
• Provides real-life examples of the benefits
• Use “survivors” as champions for change
Principles: Please stop the jargon
• ITIL/Incidents/CSIP/impact vs urgency/continuity/availability
• All internal terminology, and have their place for common language
• Also just MORE IT jargon
• Impenetrable for business staff
• Increase the “us and them” rift
• Buy-in, empowering, engagement, quick wins, best-practice
• Managementese at best
• Glib, insincere at worst
• Establish the need to change
• Set expectations
• Get the ball rolling
• Involve and enable staff
• Communicate effectively and engage
• Build and maintain momentum
• Use opportunities/failures
• Incremental improvements create lasting change
• Keep it simple!
What is the single most effective strategy you’ve used (or experienced) to
implement lasting, successful change?
• Technology success for non-IT managers
• Making smart technology decisions
• Business driven technology change
• Planning for project success
• Project review, rescue and recovery
• Independent problem review and analysis
• Pragmatic roadmaps for improvement
• CIO for hire
+64 21 297 6087